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Thread: Advice for quilting with alternative fabric

  1. #1
    ChattanoogaRocks's Avatar
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    I offered to make a quilt for a couple of friends who have adopted a baby from Ethiopia. I asked them to pick up some cotton fabric while they were in Ethiopia for me to turn into a keepsake quilt for their new daughter. Wouldn't you know, they brought back some scarves with a very loose weave. The scarves are beautiful and I hate to cut them up! I was thinking maybe I would make a quilt out of a similar family of colors of fabric that I'll buy myself and turn the scaves into the backing. Any suggestions from anyone? Do you think Stabilizer would work if I used a fusible and then cut the fabric? I'm paralized with fear of cutting... Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I don't think I would try using the scarves in a quilt. I don't think that they would hold up to use and washings. I don't know exactly what your scarves are made up of but my daughter brought home several types of scarves when she served in Afghanistan a couple years ago, none of them were something I would consider using in a quilt. Maybe someone else will be of some help on this one.
    By the way, welcome to the board from Southern California!!

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I probably wouldn't try to use the scarves in a quilt. I think your idea of using the colors is great!

    If you want to try using the scarves, I'd recommend using fusible tricot on the back of a small piece and then wash it to see if it is going to work -- colors don't run, doesn't shrink weirdly, fabric hand seems soft enough. Fusible tricot is available in a small packet at JoAnn's, or online in large amounts from drapery supply stores. You could also try other lightweight fusibles if you want to make several test swatches. I just doubt it is going to be worth the time and anxiety to do this.

  4. #4
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    i would use the scarves but only if its a piece that will be hung on the wall and not slept with.

    the art quilt design would dictate the type of foundation i would use on the scarf fabric.

    why don't you post pics of the fabric they brought back we might be more helpful if we could see what we're dealing with.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I liked the idea of using similar fabrics for the quilt. Could you use the scarves to dress a rag doll for the baby?

  6. #6
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    What a wonderful keepsake you will be making. Perhaps you can purchase some African fabric and save the scarves for the baby? She'll be a stylin' teen in years to come! If you Google "African Fabric" there are tons of links.

    Here's one I got lost in: http://aknfabrics.com/

  7. #7
    ChattanoogaRocks's Avatar
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    Everyone is giving such great advice. I knew it was iffy as soon as I opened the box and saw what I would be working with!

    A doll is great advice. I've even considered making a tote bag.

    I'm enjoying these responses! Today is my first time on this site and I fear it may become a second addiction (second of course to actually purchasing fabric!)

  8. #8
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    I've used silk ties in a quilt, just in small corner pieces and I stabilised it with an iron on interfacing before cutting.

    But for something much thiner, you need to get a piece of cotton that will highlight the colours (like white) and use fusible bond to fuse the scarf to the cotton. It would pay to use an applique mat over the scarf to make sure it doesn't burn / melt / disintegrate when you iron it! ;-)

    When we did it we actually used two layers of the thin material, it made for an awesome effect.


  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    When you say thin and loosely woven, I would try a small piece of fabric with the fusible interfacing first, one time I tried this and the fabric was so loosely woven that the fusible came up through the fabric :x I agree with maybe using it for a wall hanging :D

  10. #10
    Senior Member CindyBee's Avatar
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    I would make the quilt from ethnic themed cotton fabrics. I've been seeing a lot of interesting fabrics along this line lately.

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